A VPN is a great tool if you want to remain more anonymous in the network or need to use Internet services abroad, which can only be accessed from your home country. However, as it turns out, in the vast majority of cases, data sent via VPN can go to foreign governments and even to the black market.
VPN – what is it?
For those less familiar with the subject, I will explain in a nutshell what a VPN is. Virtual Private Network (VPN for short) is, as the name implies, a private network to which the user most often receives access after paying a monthly or annual subscription (although there are also free VPN networks), mainly used to hide data and identities sent and downloaded from Internet.
The user’s computer connects to the private network through an encrypted tunnel. All data is also encrypted, and the location and IP address of the device are masked.
In theory, this allows safer navigation on the internet.
Chinese, Russian, Pakistani VPNs
As it turns out, the security associated with the use of VPNs in many cases turns out to be only theoretical, and often the risk of surveillance and interception of private user data is greater than without the use of virtual private networks.
Cyber security specialists from VPNpro conducted an in-depth analysis of VPN networks offering us their services. The results are terrifying, to say the least.
It turned out that as many as 97 of the world’s most popular VPNs belong to only 23 companies, of which six are Chinese.
These six Chinese companies offer as many as 29 VPNs, which is almost 30% of all tested. And, as we know, every Chinese company is obliged by law to provide data to the Chinese government if it so requests.
Going further is not better. As many as seven of the most popular VPNs belong to the Gaditek company located in Pakistan. As the authors of the study emphasize, according to local law, the Pakistani government can legally have access to all data of these VPNs without any warrant.
Not only that, these data can be freely transferred by the Pakistani government to foreign companies and institutions, of course also legally.
Interestingly, most companies offering VPN solutions conceal the country of origin and the fact that they are directly related to other companies that basically offer the same solutions under a different name
For example, Chinese Innovative Connecting is the owner of three other companies: Autumn Breeze 2018, Lemon Cove and All Connected, offering a total of 10 seemingly unconnected VPNs.
Anonymity on the web has been difficult to maintain since the internet was created. We now know that the problem is even bigger than we thought.